Aurora directors appeal to high court

Johannesburg - The politically-connected directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems have turned to the high court to challenge a demand by liquidators that they produce company financial records, according to a report on Wednesday.

Aurora managing director Zondwa Mandela, a grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, and Aurora chairperson Khulubusa Zuma, a nephew of President Jacob Zuma, and four other Aurora directors are challenging the demand in the high court in Pretoria.

Business Report said they were asked to produce Aurora's financial records and their personal bank accounts during the insolvency inquiry involving Aurora's now-cancelled bid to buy two Pamodzi Gold mines.

The joint provisional liquidators also wanted other documents, including Aurora's articles of association.

The directors have now asked the high court to interdict the liquidators "from proceeding along the basis that they have proceeded so far and that evidence obtained thus far be set aside as invalid".

The media has been locked out of the insolvency hearings, but according to the court papers, Mandela could not testify on Monday because he was too ill.

Aurora was singled out as the preferred bidder for Pamodzi's mines when they went into liquidation in 2009.

But it had since had its management contract cancelled and vacated the premises.

Aurora has been accused of destroying infrastructure at the mines and causing the loss of more than 5 300 jobs.

Trade union Solidarity brought an application to have Aurora liquidated as part of its claim for R3.1m in unpaid wages to workers at the two mines. 

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